North York Moors CAM
Thursday 8th March 2001
Weather: Fair and mild
Today's walk: Warrenby - South Gare - Coatham
( 6 miles )
As most of you are
probably aware, there has been an outbreak of Foot and Mouth
Disease amongst livestock in the UK
- this has led to severe restrictions for lovers of the countryside where access to thousands of miles of public footpaths
over both farmland and open moors has been prohibited by the Government to try to stop the disease from spreading further
Of course, I will
be obeying the law, but I will try to make the best of wherever I
can still go to take photographs . . .
Today we'll take a look at a couple of greatly contrasting industries on Teesside . . .
Our walk begins with a view of the steelworks near the village of Warrenby, close to the seaside town of Redcar
Warrenby has seen
prosperity come and go over the centuries - it is now a sad,
run-down sort of place
consisting of little more than a couple of scrapyards and a few small industrial units and delapidated buildings
Not that long ago, though, it was a thriving community with mass employment at both the steelworks
and the nearby chemical works of ICI Wilton
As we continue
along the rough road towards the steelworks we see clear evidence
of a much earlier industry
- in the 12th century these ponds and marshes were once busy places
They were the salt mines of the Augustinian monks who came from Guisborough Priory, five miles further inland
In the 19th and
20th Centuries the marshes and dunes became little more than a
tipping ground for the steelworks
- large lumps of furnace clinker and slag mar the landscape although it must be said that
the local authorities have now placed restrictions and are trying, with success, to convert the area into a nature reserve
It was near these
dunes, centuries ago, that Cleveland people made the last stand
in England against William the Conqueror
- their defences were enclosed by marsh and sea and approached by a causeway.
William and his army lost their bearings when a sea-fret (fog) came down - apparently William was just saved from drowning.
Three years later he again marched on the area and wiped out the population
These days, the steelworks dominate the skyline
After passing the works we reach the sand dunes on the south side of the mouth of the River Tees
Taking advantage of today's lowish tide we can visit and explore the exposed remains of an old wreck
Clearly prominent across Teesmouth is the Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station
From here we walk along the debris scattered beach towards the three tiny, sheltered harbours of . . .
. . . Sand Hole . . .
. . . Guy's Hole . . .
. . . and best known of all . . .
. . . Paddy's Hole
All three are a
fascinating collection of brightly painted boats and ramshackled
A little further on is the RNLI Station - everything about the place is immaculate
Before leaving we made sure we left a well-deserved donation
Here we look back to the RNLI Station, the Pilot Boat jetty and further beyond, the huge cranes on Tees Dock
From South Gare we head back south along the golden sands to Coatham as Luke enjoys a rest - not like him!
A couple of miles further on we reach Coatham, many years ago, before Teesmouth, it was a big port
- there's no sign of that anymore, but nowadays the favourite recreations are windsurfing . . .
. . . horse-riding . . .
. . . and golf
On the way back to the car we see evidence of the past - the quaint, old fishermen's cottages
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